As a child’s self-esteem is undermined, his dependence grows, and with it his need to believe that his parents are there to protect and provide. The only way emotional assaults or physical abuse can make sense to a child is if he or she accepts responsibility for the toxic parent’s behavior. No matter how toxic your parents might be, you still have a need to deify them. Even if you understand, on one level, that your father was wrong to beat you, you may still believe he was justified. Intellectual understanding is not enough to convince your emotions that you were not responsible.
Susan Forward, Ph.D. with Craig Buck
Kelly and I picked Toxic Parents as a must-read and a must-work- through the book because of its sheer magnitude of tools for your emotional intelligence toolkit. Susan Forward kills it (meaning she is bang on) when she declares she can help you “Overcome their hurtful legacy and reclaim your life”. Forward and Craig Buck begin by giving you all of the answers to the questions “Why would my parents do this to me?” and “How could my parents do this to me if they loved me?”. Without understanding these two important questions, we simply can’t get too far in living our own healthy adult lives. Once we can grasp these answers, then we can see their hold on us whether our parents are alive or dead. And only then, can we begin to see ourselves as separate from them and begin the process of thinking for ourselves.
If you have a parent or parents who raised you with a codependence and enmeshment toolkit, then your EQ (emotional intelligence) is sorely lacking and will be undoubtedly very low. The good news is you can grow your EQ toolkit any moment you wish to do so. Why bother, you may ask? Because it is relationship suicide not to.
Here are some questions you get answered in these pages:
- Do your parents still treat you as if you were a child?
- Do you have intense emotional or physical reactions after spending time with your parents?
- Do your parents control you with threats or guilt?
- Do they manipulate you with money?
- Do you feel that no matter what you do, it’s never good enough for your parents?
- Did your parents tell you, you were bad or worthless?
- Were you often frightened of your parents?
Kelly and I believe you do not need to be stuck in any of this pain any longer. But just wishing it away, or wishing it would change, or complaining about it will do you any good or bring about any changes in your relationships or in the way you think. You need a process and tools. You need a plan and checking with someone to see if and how you are progressing. You need accountability and someone to celebrate with when you make a small step forward (no pun intended). This book is a game-changer and when a game-changer is presented to you……what do you do?